Former PCA rep raising funds for Professional Cricketers' Trust.

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Former Sussex and Leicestershire batsman Michael Thornely is to run the Croydon Half Marathon later this month for the Professional Cricketers’ Trust.

The 31-year-old played 98 professional games between 2007-2014 before transitioning into a career with Aon and has decided to embark on his very first charity challenge.

Thornely contacted the Trust in January wanting to run for the players’ charity, which was previously the PCA Benevolent Fund. Its purpose is to support the lifelong health and wellbeing of all PCA members and their immediate families.

The leading cricketing charity provides support both reactively and proactively with a passion to help educate PCA members on all issues to refute problems in the future.

Ahead of his half marathon on Sunday 31 March, the former PCA rep for Leicestershire gave the Trust an insight into his preparation answering 13 questions, one for each mile he will face…

  • Why are you running for the Professional Cricketers’ Trust?
  • I think the support they give members of the PCA is exceptional and they’re always looking to improve the services they can offer. I want to be able to help them with achieve this.
  • What does the Trust mean to you?
  • You always hope that you will not personally need the support of the Trust but it reassuring to know that it’s there if something were to happen to you or your family. There are many examples of when the Trust has made a huge difference in helping current and former players and their families through challenging times.
  • What direction did your life take after cricket?
  • I’ve been at Aon for almost four years now and it’s absolutely flown by. I started on the sports personal accident (PA) team placing insurance for some of Europe’s top football teams & players as well and national rugby associations & F1 drivers. I recently moved over to the reinsurance PA team where we place the reinsurance that sits behind the major insurance companies and Lloyd’s syndicates in the UK and US.
  • Have you done any challenges for charity before? If so, please explain…
  • I have been talking about doing an event for a while but have yet to do anything officially. This will be my first challenge for charity but I intend to do one each year after this.
  • How is training going?
  • It is going fairly well with only three weeks to go. I pulled my calf before Christmas, which set me back a few weeks and I’ve had a few issues recently with blisters but hopefully they’ll not affect me on the day.
  • Strangest piece of advice you have been given about running the half marathon?
  • Make sure you don’t eat anything that might affect your “digestion” on the day!
  • Do you have a finishing time in mind?
  • My target is to do it in under 1hr 35mins. (Fingers crossed!)
  • If you could compare your running style to a current or former cricketer – who would it be?
  • I don’t know who I would look like but I can assure you it’ll be much closer to the former players and how they run now compared to the current players!
  • Do you have a running play list…what tunes increase your pace?
  • My wife passed on her half marathon playlist from when she ran one in New Zealand. It got a few songs by Shapeshifter and High Contrast, which definitely keep the energy up!
  • Any superstitions?
Left shoes on first.
  • What are you most and least looking forward to?
  • I’m obviously most looking forward to the finish line & hitting my target of £500 and I’m least looking forward to the middle part of run around the 10k mark and any hills on the course.
  • Why should people donate and how do they do it?
  • How can people follow your progress?
  • Please follow and share my Twitter updates @Thorners87

Interested in fundraising for the Professional Cricketers’ Trust? Challenge yourself to complete the famous Three Peaks Challenge this October in a joint initiative with the Tom Maynard Trust. For more information on all fundraising opportunities please contact Sam Relf – samantha.relf@professionalcricketerstrust.org